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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Blanket Primary: Candidate Strategy and Voter Response


The party coalitions that emerged from the New Deal realignment were defined by race, nationality and ethnicity, religion, region, and social class. In the last decade, the "religious impulse" has become an increas-ingly important aspect of the party coalitions as Republican and Demo-cratic identifiers have become increasingly distinct in terms of their re-ligiosity and religious practice. The paper traces the increasing impor-tance of religiosity and social class as correlates of party identification and argues that the contemporary GOP has a support base that is highly similar to that of conventional Christian Democratic parties. It further suggests that the pattern of issue politics between the parties today is a result of this new cleavage structure.

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